LBJ Places MJ, Dr. J, Bird In His Top-3 Players Of All Time

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LakerFan4Life
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LeBron James was asked in an interview with Fox Sports 1 to name his best three basketball players of all-time. James quickly responded with Michael Jordan and hesitated for several seconds before including Julius Erving and....

LALayup
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One of these things is not like the other...one of these things just doesn't belong.

Okay, I know it's a subjective opinion subject, but there's no way Dr. J. is a "top 3" player of all time. I absolutely love the guy. He was style and he was class personified. But he was not in that kind of elite group.

TimmyDoe
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Heh...Magic was better than Larry.

Bishop-Havoc
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He thought about it, and excluded Magic purposely lol nevertheless, it's his list, his opinion, so I ain't pressed about it.

ameth
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No Big O? No Magic? No Russel or Chamberlain or Abdul-Jabbar?

The man who thinks the fool and acts a fool is a fool.

SPQR
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Quote:

No Big O? No Magic? No Russel or Chamberlain or Abdul-Jabbar?

The man who thinks the fool and acts a fool is a fool.

Even Bob Ryan, the dean of Boston sports writers, who at one time in Birds career (around 84) said he was the best player ever, said after their careers were over, that Magic proved the greater more unique, durable player. And believe me, it took A LOT for Ryan, who bleeds Celtic Green to make that admission.

Maybe Lebron left Magic off the list because he is the most physically unique player in NBA history. By far. Maybe Lebron hopes that if people kind of forget that, he will get that recognition some day. Maybe Lebron wishes he could play the point, and run it like the six nine Magic did, since he can't come close to that or even sniff that ability. Maybe Lebron is kind of unhappy that is something, even with his gifts, he can't do.

Or maybe its just his opinon, lol.

Either way, Lebron, Bird over Magic?? WRONG!!

ameth
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Look, I don't think LeBron ever deserved his championship rings and much like when the Heat played the Mavericks in 2006 they were given these championships. This was done more outright by the NBA when the NBA horribly officiated the last NBA Finals game. I would dare say that he deliberately chose no Lakers player and there are a lot of players who have played for them that have played phenomenally that would get a retired jersey on any other organization but not with the Lakers. Those that have their numbers retired earn it and sadly for LeBron he was given the keys to the castle before ever stepping foot in said castle which makes him feel entitled. If he were to never state that he thinks the best players in his top 3 were Mike or Bird he'd certainly be questioned on his basketball knowledge. But this man is the fool and when you give the fool the castle the kingdom is made the fool too.

Mamba1024
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SPQR wrote:
Even Bob Ryan, the dean of Boston sports writers, who at one time in Birds career (around 84) said he was the best player ever, said after their careers were over, that Magic proved the greater more unique, durable player. And believe me, it took A LOT for Ryan, who bleeds Celtic Green to make that admission.

Maybe Lebron left Magic off the list because he is the most physically unique player in NBA history. By far. Maybe Lebron hopes that if people kind of forget that, he will get that recognition some day. Maybe Lebron wishes he could play the point, and run it like the six nine Magic did, since he can't come close to that or even sniff that ability. Maybe Lebron is kind of unhappy that is something, even with his gifts, he can't do.

Or maybe its just his opinon, lol.

Either way, Lebron, Bird over Magic?? WRONG!!

There is no doubt that LeBron has respect for Magic, so maybe perhaps the article was taken out of context? Or the question was worded differently in this article? I am not really sure, but if he was serious, then I don't know. Maybe he was talking about players who inspired him, but even then, there is no way that Magic did not influence the way he plays the game, I just cannot see that.

LakerDymes
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Posts: 3741

1) jordan

2) magic

Everyone else is debatable after that in my opinion

LALayup
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Repped High Quality Post

SPQR wrote:
Even Bob Ryan, the dean of Boston sports writers, who at one time in Birds career (around 84) said he was the best player ever, said after their careers were over, that Magic proved the greater more unique, durable player. And believe me, it took A LOT for Ryan, who bleeds Celtic Green to make that admission.

Maybe Lebron left Magic off the list because he is the most physically unique player in NBA history. By far. Maybe Lebron hopes that if people kind of forget that, he will get that recognition some day. Maybe Lebron wishes he could play the point, and run it like the six nine Magic did, since he can't come close to that or even sniff that ability. Maybe Lebron is kind of unhappy that is something, even with his gifts, he can't do.

Or maybe its just his opinon, lol.

Either way, Lebron, Bird over Magic?? WRONG!!

Magic is the best only if you want to win, play a great team game, and be absurdly entertaining in the midst of it all. I know you get my drift Randy. Maybe he wouldn't win in a game of one-on-one with some of these guys, but who gives a flippin' rip? If I'm trying to build a team, Magic is my first pick without question. He makes bad players look decent, decent players look good, good players look great, and great players look like Hall of Famers. Hall of Famers? Well you add one or two of those to go with Magic and you get Showtime...the best basketball team in NBA history.

SPQR
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Dan,

I certainly do get your drift, all of it. And I couldn't agree more. Very well said.

maraud
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So much for Lebron's basketball history IQ

Mamba1024
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LALayup wrote:
Magic is the best only if you want to win, play a great team game, and be absurdly entertaining in the midst of it all. I know you get my drift Randy. Maybe he wouldn't win in a game of one-on-one with some of these guys, but who gives a flippin' rip? If I'm trying to build a team, Magic is my first pick without question. He makes bad players look decent, decent players look good, good players look great, and great players look like Hall of Famers. Hall of Famers? Well you add one or two of those to go with Magic and you get Showtime...the best basketball team in NBA history.

Repped. I may not have watched Magic in real time, but I have seen enough of him in videos to know that he is one of the greatest ever. And, not to discredit any other player, he is, in my opinion, the best ever.

LALayup
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Player comparisons will go on forever and there will always be disagreements in opinions. It's such a screwy thing. You never really know what someone means or what all they're taking into consideration when they talk about G.O.A.T.'s. You can never get away from the fact that it's a team game, but at the same time you must recognize individual ability and contributions.

I'll always think that the discussion is best to just break it down to categories, positions, and roles. It ends up being more meaningful that way. You could go with best scorer, rebounder, defender, shot-blocker, court-runner, playmaker, passer, shooter, ball-handler, etc. --- or best center, SG, PG, PF, SF -- or even best individual player vs. team player. If you take it all seriously, it makes a single G.O.A.T. very hard to identify. But all things considered, I would personally stick with Magic to build a team around. BTW, If you tag it all with the best individual player, I'd have to go with Wilt. I know there are some differences in playing era to consider, but Wilt's personal accomplishments are beyond staggering. You'd think they were video game numbers or something! What an amazing athlete he was. I wonder if we'll ever see another player like him.

gemfow
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Lets not forget how Magic has talked negatively about Lebron prior to winning his rings. I wouldn't be surprised if that came into play. I don't think there are too many people outside of Boston who would consider Bird the better player than Magic.

LALayup
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gemfow wrote:
Lets not forget how Magic has talked negatively about Lebron prior to winning his rings. I wouldn't be surprised if that came into play. I don't think there are too many people outside of Boston who would consider Bird the better player than Magic.

No doubt. That could easily factor into it all. It's interesting with all the criticisms of Kobe's game--many that I agree with--I've always been highly impressed with Kobe's sense of basketball history and his respect for all the guys who came before him. Maybe a lot of that comes from growing up around the NBA and NBA players. Hard to say.

lakerever
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Serious Laker Fan
Posts: 226

Everybody could have an opinion, but Magic should be considered in all respectable list:

Best Five of Julius Erving: Russell, Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson.

Best Five of Gary Payton: Russell, Chamberlain, J. Erving, Jabbar and Magic Johnson.

SPQR
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lakerever,

Yep, everyone has their list.

Mine is VERY short, based on the skills they had and their ability to win. Just one title will do, because you have to be very lucky just to win one. As an example The Big O had to beat Russells VASTLY superior Celtics. He didn't have a chance because he didn't have the horses on his team. If the Celtics did not exist, he may have won, four, five, six or more titles. Then where would he be? GOAT? He certainly had the will and skill to be GOAT. As soon as he got on a top team, Jabbars Bucks, he immediately won a title even though he was by then over the hill.

My list is rarefied air. Only six need apply: Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Magic, Jordan and the Big O. These gents because not only could they win, but they were just physically head and shoulders above any others at their positions. They stood out that much. They also all proved they could win.

No Dr. J? Yep. I saw the good doctor play. He was Jordan and Kobe before Jordan and Kobe, minus the defense, by a mile, minus the jumper, again by a mile. Dr. J was great, but not a GOAT.

No Bird? Yep. just because he was not as good as Magic, so how can he be GOAT?

Kobe? Same thing. One of the all time greats I have ever seen, but not as great as Jordan, who I also saw. So how can Kobe be GOAT? He can't.

There is also no shame in not making my GOAT candidate list. I mean guys like Kobe and some others are soooooooooooo damn great. The hall of fame is populated with all time greats who are not GOAT candidates. Every one of them just monster players. Freaks. Players of unbelievable skill and will.

Kobe is the second greatest shooting guard I ever saw. And I doubt I will see one better in my lifetime come along. He is also one of the top five or six players I have ever seen.

And of course my GOAT selections and reasons why are in the end, just my opinions. Others of course see it different.

lakerever
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SPQR,

I like your best five or best six. My best five: Magic, Jordan, Bird, Jabbar and Chamberlain. I saw Dr. J. in his glory days, he was great, but not top Five or top ten

SPQR
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Lakerever,

I love your list. I wouldn't put Bird on it, but he was along with Duncan, the best forward I ever saw so I really can't quibble with a player that great.

How great was Bird? Well some people are saying Lebron can be the GOAT, a position I don't agree with. He will have to show me more, do more before I even consider him.

But the guy is GREAT. But Bird was smarter, he was the better rebounder, he was the better outside shooter, and as good as Lebron can pass, Bird was on another level. Bird was more clutch than Lebron. Bird LOVED tight games, lived for them, prayed for them, lol. He thrived in them. Lebron is stronger (but not as tall) more athletic and better defender. But the biggest edge Bird has was the he just had this knack for making these amazing, killer plays at crucial moments in a game. It would just take the life from the other team. He did that over and over and over again.

If I were starting a team and was offered either Bird or Lebron at 22, I would take Bird and not even think for a moment about it. That is no diss to the great Lebron. But Bird was just all that and more.

LALayup
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SPQR wrote:
Yep, everyone has their list.

Mine is VERY short, based on the skills they had and their ability to win. Just one title will do, because you have to be very lucky just to win one. As an example The Big O had to beat Russells VASTLY superior Celtics. He didn't have a chance because he didn't have the horses on his team. If the Celtics did not exist, he may have won, four, five, six or more titles. Then where would he be? GOAT? He certainly had the will and skill to be GOAT. As soon as he got on a top team, Jabbars Bucks, he immediately won a title even though he was by then over the hill.

My list is rarefied air. Only six need apply: Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Magic, Jordan and the Big O. These gents because not only could they win, but they were just physically head and shoulders above any others at their positions. They stood out that much. They also all proved they could win.

Dude...you have the quintessential list right there. You're a lot like me in not really liking to pin it down to one player unless you're talking in absolute specifics (like "best team player" or other). Also, you don't over-emphasize championships, but don't overlook them either. That list is rarefied air indeed. I love how you don't overlook Oscar like so many do. But I realize a lot of fans have barely heard of him, yet alone realize how good he was. I have the funniest story to tell of meeting the "Big O" in person, but it's just too embarrassing and self-incriminating to tell here. Seriously.

SPQR
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Dan,

It is so hard to say who is the GOAT, even if there is one. I mean how can you compare a guard with a seven foot center? Its like trying to compare Joe Montana to Jim Brown or Jerry Rice or Lawrence Taylor or Joe Green. You really can't. But you can kind of figure out who stands above the crowd by their unique ability and the kinds of careers they have.

For me, those six gents just stand above the rest of the crowd. Which one is the GOAT? lol. I don't know. Maybe one is but how do your really seperate them? All have such a strong case. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say they all are. The one thing in my humble opinion is, nobody else should be on that short list but those six guys if you are looking at talent, accomplishment, length of careers and just the flat out unique abilities that seperate them from a very, very special pack of other hall of famers and legends.

Dan,

You can't throw out that Big O story and not at least PM me, lol. Im not letting you get away with that!! Come on, give it up.

lakerfrommass
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Why is Bill Russell always considered so great??? I posted this once before... He won titles in a league of few teams, and thus less rounds and opponents to go through to achieve these titles.... His career FG% is horrific for a man of his size, and his rebounding stats, arguably his strongest area can also be debated... Back then, all missed FT's were a rebound opportunity, as the NBA was similar to the college game.. You had to make 1FT in order to attempt a 2nd...

I never got to see the man play, obviously.... I just don't think he was as good as people seem to think....

Dude was a 44% FG shooter for his career... Kobe Bryant has a better career FG% then Russell. I stand by my guns, 44%FG for a center is horrible....

lakerfrommass
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I'm going to paste a post of mine from a previous thread: Perhaps I'm a bit off here in the following opinion, but I will opine anyway... Obviously being 34yrs old, I Have never seen Bill Russell play, that's a given... However, I don't really get all the fuss about the guy... He was a monster rebounder, a decent assist man for a 6-10 center, but he was a horrifically bad shooter from both the field and the free throw line... He checks in at 44% FGS and 56% FTs for his career.... Horrible FG% for any 6-10 player, especially one named Bill Russell. Now sure he was part of 11 (is that right?) title teams in Boston... However we must be cognizant of the fact that while Boston was winning these championships, there were not many teams back then.. Also, with there being a limited amount of teams, there were less playoff games to be played, and less series' needed to be won. While today's teams must win 16 playoff games in order to win a title, Bill Russell played, not won, played in 16 or more playoff games in 1 season just 3x. Here are the amount of playoff games he played in consecutive seasons: 10, 9, 11, 13, 10, 14, 13, 10, 12, 17, 9, 19, 18.... Point being, those Celtics titles of the 60's are WAYYYYY overrated IMO... How many playoff series' did they have to win in order to be crowned champion? 1? 2? Not many... Also, we must remember that rebounds were more prevalent back then(allegedly) due to the rules in regards to FT shooting... Kind of like today's college game in which you need to make 1 to get another attempt... It helped the rebounders of yesteryear immensely, especially the centers who were lined up closest to the rim.... I'm....

LALayup
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^ John, You make EXCELLENT points about Russell. To a degree I feel the same way about him. But I did see the dude play in a lot of big games. What turns it all around for me was watching what he did head to head with the ultimate beast of all beasts in Chamberlain. Sure Wilt still put up some very large numbers against him, but Russell kept him from just completely dominating games in the day when you mostly had to go it alone in defending your man. That's saying something. Russell did it way too many times for my own comfort. So in an odd way, it's Wilt's greatness that elevates Russell for me.

In addition, I would have to say that Russell, to this day was the absolute best I've ever seen at rebounding and starting the fast break. His outlet passes were just ridiculous. Those Celtics teams scored so freakin' fast -- it was just disturbing. Great team player, and he gave you everything he had to give.

You're right though...he was a TURRIBLE shooter. Wink Incredible defender and shot blocker though. Plus the thing that Stu Lantz harps about all the time when guys swat shots out of bounds...well...Russell was the master of blocking shots and gaining possession for his team. It seemed like he almost always turned a blocked shot into a turnover.

LALayup
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While I'm just musing here...I seriously wonder what the ultimate estimation of Shaq's career would have been if he had played the vast majority of his great years with Magic Johnson. What a dream duo. I mean really. Just imagine Magic feeding Shaq all day every day........what a brutal nightmare.......for opponents that is. Think of it. Shaq was still dominant, but it was without the benefit of a highly skilled, pass-first point guard. Don't tell me that doesn't make a difference. That "bread" would have been "buttered" over and over and over and over again and again.

SPQR
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Baptist, I to used to kind of doubt and wonder about Russell. But I don't any longer. Ill tell you when I started to change. I read an interview with Jerry West years ago. He was asked, Why couldn't you beat the Celtics all those times with those great teams you had? His answer: "Just one reason. Bill Russell." He then went on to describe how Russell just totally took them out of everything they wanted to do on offense, that the could do against any other team. He said they literally couldn't run half their plays against Boston because of Russell. He went on to say that it was not just the blocked shots. It was the fact that they knew he would block shots that never were shot because of it, the fact that the paint was gone for them. The fact that all the Celtics could gamble, cheat and move on defense like no other team, because they knew Russell would make up for it if a mistake was made. Like Dan said, he didn't just blast blocks into the cheap seats for effect. He blocked them to teamates to start the Celtics break. He was too smart to block shots out of bounds like these morons today do. Russell tiimed blocks so well that it became an art form with him. If you ever see film of him, you will see it. He just was like a panther, it seemed you could get the shot off, then, bam, it was blocked, again and again and again. It also terrified other players so much that it infected them and made them make bad decision, both in shooting and passing. Russell, like Bird and Magic also understood the game with crystal clearity. He was smart. He knew what would happened before it....

lakerfrommass
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Dan

Thanks for the response... I will place your thoughts into my memory bank

Randrew

Holy sh!t!!! You made my eyes tired... LOL..

Thanks for the education... Most of your points I couldn't even begin to refute, as I'm flying blind in this one.. My knowledge on Russell can be described as infinitesimal at best...

However, I remain steadfast in my belief that playing limited series' in order to be crowned champion has to be an advantage, however slight it may be.

I see your point about 1st round series', but not all go as expected... We've seen several upsets in recent years, and many great first round series'... I think back to 2008... First round, 66 win and eventual champion Boston played against a 37 win ATL team ... To me, that was a series that was exciting as hell to watch, as 37 win ATL took Boston to 7 games before eventually succumbing to the better team.

I'll tell you another 1-8 matchup that was an exciting series, and I GUARANTEE you, you were nervous as all hell just as I was... It was the 2000 playoffs, first round... Our Lakers vs an up and coming SAC Kings team.. Back then it was a 5 game series.. We took the 1st 2 in LA, lost the next 2 in SAC and we were reeling. Of course we won game 5 and the series in blowout fashion, but that damn Kings team put a scare in me, for sure.

Point being, not all 1st round series are "boring" as you put it....

Also, you have injury potential as well, the longer a series or entire playoff goes on.... That's neither here nor there at this point some 45 years later..

Anyway Randrew, thanks for the response... I have learned some new stuff on Russell, and I appreciate the lesson... It's always fun picking the brain(s) of you elderly members of LTB... LMFAO.. j/k....

SPQR
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Baptist,

When you wrote your original post, you were 34. Now, today, you are 35!!! See how fast the time went? You're a whole year older since you posted!

You are rapidly becoming an elder statesman of LTB yourself. It will fall to you to dispense the wisdom of the basketball ages to others now.

Happy Diwali day to you!!

occasion4

lakerfrommass
votes: 15
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SPQR wrote:
Baptist,

When you wrote your original post, you were 34. Now, today, you are 35!!! See how fast the time went? You're a whole year older since you posted!

You are rapidly becoming an elder statesman of LTB yourself. It will fall to you to dispense the wisdom of the basketball ages to others now.

Happy Diwali day to you!!

occasion4

LMFAO... Thanks Randrew....


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